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MIG Welding: Understanding the Basics

MIG welding is a common form of welding used throughout the country today. MIG stands for metal inert gas; however, it’s often referred to as “gas metal arc welding” or “wire welding” by some folks in the welding community. No matter how you refer to it, you need to be aware of several factors when you’re using this welding method. When it comes to MIG welding, understanding the basics is easy, which is why we’ve put together this useful guide on the subject.

How it Works

In MIG welding, a spool feeds a consumable wire electrode through the welding torch and out into the weld pool. As it joins the base and filler metals together, the welding torch emits a shielding gas. After making its way through the gas diffuser, the welding torch’s shielding gas prevents the weld pool from becoming contaminated by things in the atmosphere, such as water vapor and oxygen.

How to Stay Safe

Before using the welding torch, you need to have the right safety gear. When it comes to MIG welding, you need a welding helmet, safety goggles, leather shoes and gloves, an additional cap or bandana for extra head protection, and a fire-resistant jacket and pants that cover your entire body. If you’re doing this from home, you also have to make sure your wiring can handle the process.

Wherever you’re doing it, make sure you have enough airflow to deal with the produced gases. They can pose a threat to your safety, but with the right amount of ventilation, you can keep your workplace safe. However, make sure your ventilation isn’t strong enough to disrupt the welding gun’s shielding gas. If you do see fumes building up in your workspace, step away from the equipment and improve the room’s ventilation. Bring in some extra fans if necessary.

Now that you know more about MIG welding, understanding the basics will become much easier. Once you fully understand the topics mentioned above, you’ll be ready to move onto more detailed information regarding specific wire and voltage selection. Plus, you can prepare the metal and equipment for the welding process. If you need MIG welding equipment, we can help. At Welding for Less, we’ll provide you with a MIG welding gun and accessories at the best prices you can find.